Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Poms to the Moon!

Britain could send its first un-manned mission to the moon by 2010 to study the lunar surface and find the best site for humans to inhabit, the BBC reported.

A report by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., a top British space company, found the cost of space travel had fallen enough to let the government consider such a probe, it said.

Britain's astronomy funding agency, the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, was understood to be considering the idea, the broadcaster added.

"We are going to go to the moon in order to generate new business opportunities, science opportunities and develop technology," Surrey Satellite Chief Executive Martin Sweeting, who wrote the report, told BBC News late on Tuesday.

The idea would be to launch two forays to the moon.

The first, named "Moonlight," would fire four darts the size of suitcases onto the moon's surface from orbit to test for quakes, tremors and other data, the BBC said.

If the mission was successful, a second probe, "Moonraker" would be launched with the aim of landing on the moon.

Let's hope it turns out better than the Beagle 2.

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